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PCI releases first Sustainable Precast Concrete Plant Program report

Sources: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Chicago; CP staff

Backed by PCI, the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and National Precast Concrete Association, the North American Precast Concrete Sustainable Plant Program (NAPCSPP) has yielded its first full-year energy, materials and transportation data benchmarks. PCI’s 2015 Sustainable Plant Program Performance Report presents results in carbon dioxide equivalent (global warming potential), total primary energy and water consumption categories based on data from 34 structural and architectural precast/prestressed producers.

NAPCSPP uses software from Ottawa-based Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, whose life cycle assessment/analysis tools support Environmental Product Declarations for precast and ready mixed concrete. The program enables individual plants to measure their “cradle to gate” environmental footprint—raw material resource extraction to loaded, construction site-bound product. Once a precast/prestressed plant enters data for material consumption plus electricity, natural gas, gas, diesel and liquefied propane gas usage, the software taps the Athena database to calculate sustainability indicators. Plant staff also self evaluate and report such environmental performance indicators as dust, noise and waste material volume.

“PCI members that participate in the NAPCSPP are showing leadership by actively monitoring and reporting environmental footprint indicators. [They] recognize that to make improvements, they must first benchmark and track performance,” says PCI Sustainability Manager Emily Lorenz.

The Institute’s charter NAPCSPP producers have been reporting environmental impacts for 18 months. The inaugural annual report includes plants’ moving averages throughout 2015. Reporting members and a Sustainable Plant Performance Report pdf are posted at www.pci.org.